Further research has discovered the following details of Joseph Gledhill’s grandfather, parents and where they lived:-

·         John Gledhill of Soyland, Yorkshire, his grandfather

o   Francis Gledhill christened 11th Feb 1752, son of John Gledhill of Soyland, Yorkshire, married Martha Dyson 6 January 1785 in the parish church at Elland, Yorkshire, his parents.

§  Hannah Gledhill christened 7th August 1791 in the Wesleyan South Parade Chapel in Halifax, Yorkshire

§  Joseph Gledhill christened on 11 September 1796 in the Wesleyan (Chapel), Greetland, Yorkshire

o   Francis Gledhill remarried 14 October 1804 in Halifax Parish Church: ''Francis Gledhill, clothier of Greetland to Mary Oates, widow, of Halifax”.

What follows is a report of the research which produced these new facts.  All of this refers to these other pages on this Gledhill Genealogy website:-

the family tree of the above Joseph Gledhill and his descendants
the story of Joseph Gledhill, also of his son and grandson – actually two items on the one webpage referred to as “the story” in the following discussion.

Considerable effort has gone into searching for the origins and ancestors of Joseph Gledhill because of the possibility that his family and Lloyd Gledhill’s family are related. This possibility arises because members of the two Yorkshire families lived near each other in Ohio, at one point in the very same small town, Galion.

The research was successful in finding the above new details on the origins of Joseph Gledhill and the identity of his parents but no link to Lloyd Gledhill’s family was discovered – (nevertheless see the paragraph on DNA at the end of this article).

This research has been undertaken principally by Lesley Abernethy, also by Lloyd Gledhill, with the assistance of Gary Gledhill and Peter Gledhill, none of them descendants of Joseph Gledhill and each probably of different Gledhill families (though there is still a good chance that Lesley Abernethy’s family and Lloyd’s family are linked back in the 17th Century).

If there is any link between the two Ohio families it would be back in Yorkshire in England so that’s why the emphasis has been on finding the origins of Joseph Gledhill, to compare them with what we know of Lloyd Gledhill’s family of that period.

The first stumbling block was that there is apparently no such place as Browbridge, Othersfield, Yorkshire, the birthplace given in the Story of Joseph Gledhill Junior.

Eventually this hurdle was overcome when it was decided that Browbridge, Othersfield, was really Brow Bridge, Greetland, near Huddersfield.  Apparently the Domesday Book gives the place as “Odersfelt” and Lesley Abernethy, who came from the Huddersfield area, says that even today many local people would pronounce it as “Uthersfield”.

Once the above breakthrough had been made Gary Gledhill was able to find on the Mormon’s IGI website a christening of a Joseph Gledhill which is almost certainly that of the above Joseph Gledhill.  He was christened on 11 September 1796 in the Wesleyan (Chapel), Greetland, Yorkshire.  The 11 September corresponds with the story though the year is out by one, but the place is right and so this entry can be accepted as belonging to Joseph.  The IGI christening record also gave his parents as Francis Gledhill and Matty.

Lesley Abernethy then found the marriage of a Francis Gledhill and Martha (Matty) Dyson “in the parish church in Elland (the only option at the time for people resident in Greetland) on 6th January 1785.  The groom is described as Francis Gledhill of the parish of WAKEFIELD, clothier, and Martha Dyson OTP. Note the groom's parish, and interestingly, the second witness is James MITCHELL. However, Joseph is not the first child. This couple had christened Hannah 7th August 1791 in the Wesleyan South Parade Chapel in Halifax.”

Lesley also found that “Francis Gledhill remarried (when Joseph would have been 7) in Halifax Parish Church on 14th October 1804. 'Francis Gledhill, clothier of Greetland to Mary Oates, widow, of Halifax.'”  She points out that this accords with the story which says “All this darkness relative to his immediate family is accounted for when we find that his own mother died when he was quite young and his father remarried”.

As to the origin of Francis Gledhill Lesley favours the baptism of a Francis Gledhill 11th Feb 1752, son of John Gledhill of Soyland near Halifax.  She says “Although Francis is 'of the parish of Wakefield' when he marries Martha, there seems to have been a lot of ricocheting between the Halifax area and the Wakefield area.”

Lesley next found the marriage of a Midgley Pease to Hannah Thwaites on 15 September 1801 in Pontefract, near Wakefield, noting that this agrees with the story where it says “In looking over some old letters, we have been able to find the names of certain cousins of Mary Mitchell. The list follows: Mary Fisher, who died Oct. 23, 1826; Mary Peas Elliot, wife of George Elliott, died Dec 9, 1826; Margarot Billington, died April 9, 1828; Hugh Chadwick and Mary Thwarter. We further found that in 1853, Wedgley or Medgley Peas lived in the old place at Horbury, England”, Lesley noting that Mary Thwarter was probably Mary Thwaites.

Lesley Abernethy makes these additional comments on the story:-

Story:  “Joseph Gledhill immigrant from England, will hereafter be known as Joseph Gledhill Sr., was born on Monday, September 11, 1797. His boyhood days were without a doubt, spent in and around Leads, Wakefield and Horbury, all of which towns are located in Yorkshire.”

Comment:  “I think he more likely spent his boyhood in Greetland.”

Story:  “It is easy to see why Joseph Sr. became a wool carder, in as much as he was brought up in the very midst of woolen manufactories”

Comment:  “The whole of the West Riding of Yorkshire was virtually dedicated to the woollen industry. I would be surprised if he continued to be a carder beyond his teenage years as carding was often a task given to children and youths before they moved on to weaving.”

There is one more possibility for determining whether the descendants of Joseph Gledhill are related to Lloyd Gledhill’s family.  It is to employ DNA testing.  Lloyd Gledhill has had his genealogical DNA tested, so all that is needed now is for a male member named Gledhill from Joseph Gledhill’s family to be tested.  If both Gledhills have the same DNA then there is a very high possibility that they are members of the same original family.  Anyone is interested should contact Lloyd for more information.  DNA can provide the breakthrough where traditional genealogical research runs up against a brick wall.  

Lloyd Gledhill
June 2010

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